Pope Benedict XVI in his book “Seek That Which is Above” writes about Advent. “Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to run through her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope. All the feasts in the Church’s calendar are events of remembrance and hence events of hope.”
When we think of our own personal memories of hearing the story of the birth of Christ and of the stories of people who give generously because of their love for God and for others can remind us of the gifts of Love and Hope from God.
Advent can bring us Peace and Joy when we dispense Joy through acts of kindness such as smiling at others, calling a shut-in or one who is suffering with an illness, by offering to taking time for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate with a family member. Jesus said “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you… Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27).
Yes, these pillars of Advent, these gifts are from our Heavenly Father who wants us to have these abundantly – if we are willing to receive them by accepting them as Mary did when the Arkangel Gabriel announced to her that she will bear the Son of God. Her response was one of Love and Hope… “Yes, let me be done to me according to Thy Word.” And through Mary’s “Yes”…we have the Prince of Peace, a Savior that gives Joy to all those who receive Him!